How To Use Anki: Your Guide To Using Spanish Flashcards
Anki is among the top tools you can use for learning a language. Many students choose it as their go-to alternative for creating digital Spanish flashcards.
Although flashcards may not always be your chosen strategy as a language learner, it’s hard to deny they bring effective results.
Flashcards are excellent for memorizing difficult words and vocabulary. They’re also ideal for establishing a learning routine with goals.
Anki might seem a complex resource, however, mastering it is actually quite intuitive once you have a solid know-how of the basics.
I scoured the web to find all of your questions about how to use Anki. Join me in this in-depth guide to using Anki and Spanish flashcards for elevating your language learning.
Benefits of Using Spanish Flashcards
Flashcards are highly functional when it comes to learning a language. Although it’s one of the oldest tricks in the book, the use of flashcards continues to evolve for Spanish learners.
Choosing between paper and digital flashcards is meant to be easy. Read more about what option is best.
Spanish flashcards often come with illustrations, example phrases, and many other digital features. You can now carry them in the comfort of your phone when you use an app like Anki.
As an excellent alternative to classic paper flashcards, Anki Spanish flashcards save you money on paper and supplies, plus they are easy to integrate into your language learning routine.
Flashcards allow you to actively recall information and memorize it efficiently.
Learn more about the perks and benefits of flashcards in this guide on How to Use Spanish Flashcards to Get Fluent Faster.
What Is Anki?
Anki is a digital flashcard tool you can use in any smartphone, computer, or tablet. It enables you to remember and memorize information efficiently pretty much anywhere you are.
5 Perks of Using Anki
1. It’s a Low Cost Alternative
Downloading Anki is free for Android but requires a payment for IOS. You can also use Anki Web for free. If your only option is IOS, let me tell you the investment is certainly worth it because it brings solid results when you put your time into it.
2. It’s a Popular Language Learning App
People use Anki all around the world. The amount of tutorials, support forums, and Q&A’s you’ll find available online is wide and diverse. The Anki user manual is thoroughly detailed and informative (it’s even in Spanish if you want to give that a try!).
3. It’s Accessible
You can choose between anki desktop, anki android, anki IOS, or anki web app. It’s available in several platforms and adapts to the device you have access to at any given moment you want to use it.
4. It Has Pre-Designed Decks of Flashcards
Anki has existing Spanish flashcard decks you can access for your own use. Users can share decks you can download and use on your personal Anki.
5. You Can Customize It
You can customize it as much as you want. Like I mentioned before, you can add the decks you want to learn to your personal Anki. You can include audio recordings and if you’re a visual learner, add the photos you want.
Anki is also easy to combine with the other Spanish learning resources you’re using. Add it to your routine and mix it up with 5 Strategies to Learn Spanish.
How Does Anki Work?
Anki is made for you to memorize concepts, names, and phrases you’re close to forgetting.
It works through an algorithm that identifies which words are easier or tougher to remember for you.
Anki’s algorithm uses spaced repetition. The spaced repetition technique is a learning strategy where you learn words and vocabulary by letting longer and longer periods of time pass between one training session and the next.
When you use Anki to learn a Spanish word the app creates more and more space between reminders.
Anki shows you the Spanish flashcards you had difficulty remembering right away and it shows you the ones that were easier for you to remember at a later time. As you advance, Anki’s interface shows you how the time between easier flashcards increases.
Ultimately, Anki saves you plenty of time when it comes to learning Spanish. It covers the easier stuff in a short amount of time and dedicates time to what you’re really struggling with.
How To Use Anki for Language Learning?
Make the most of Anki and your Spanish flashcards with this step-by-step guide.
1. Download Anki
First, you need to download Anki to your computer. I recommend you start on your computer before your smartphone. The interface is more user-friendly on your Mac or Windows computer.
It’s easier to start your list of Spanish flashcards from your computer and then sync your phone. Once you cover this, you’ll be able to move to your phone for the majority of your language learning.
2. Make Anki Cards
Start by choosing to use a single deck of cards for your language. A “card” is a question and answer pair, or in this case the word in English and Spanish. A “deck” is a group of cards.
Each deck can have different settings, you can choose how many cards to show per day or the time between showing cards. Decks can be organized into a “tree” and carry multiple decks inside of different levels.
You can divide your decks into topics or types of vocabulary you’re studying. Once you name the deck, you can start adding flashcards.
Flashcards on Anki are also known as “notes.” Choose the “basic” (and reversed card) type for your Spanish vocabulary, this one allows you to create a card you can view from front to back and vice versa.
The basic (and reversed card) creates a card in both directions similar to this example:
Front: la mesa
Back: the table
Front: the table
Back: la mesa
You customize each card or note by typing in the text, images, or recording audio. Keep it simple and try to start with a small amount of flashcards. Ten is a solid number you can manage as a beginner.
3. Explore Anki’s Other Features
Once you master the creation of notes or flashcards; you’ll be able to test Anki’s other fascinating features.
Anki supports visual learners because it allows you to add photos to the notes. You can take these photos on your own smartphone camera or download stock images for reference.
You can also record yourself saying the words on your notes so you can work on your pronunciation and Spanish listening.
Anki also has a type of flashcard called “cloze” which allows you to input more complex information. Cloze cards give you the option of selecting text and concealing it as an exercise of sentence completion or as questions for more complex topics.
Take advantage of Anki’s free decks of cards related to Spanish. These are created by different and experienced users. Many of them have a rating and specify if they have added resources like audio or images.
4. Use Anki on Your Phone
Syncing Anki on your phone allows you to review Spanish flashcards while you wait for the bus, fall asleep, or have some downtime.
For syncing Anki to your phone you need to create an account on AnkiWeb. Then you should download the app to your phone and sync them.
5. Make Anki a Part of Your Routine
Once you set your mind to using Anki, you need to be consistent and committed.
Dedicate, at least, 20 to 30 minutes daily to review flashcards. A break is certainly advised so you don’t feel overwhelmed. You can add a break on one out of seven days.
Don’t review more than 10 new flashcards a day. You want to study them in detail, so adding large amounts might be too much and will force you to just cover the content without fully grasping it. This number might sound low but it’s actually way more than you think.
Although you might feel like you can go ahead at times and may want to review more, you should consider that 10 new words per day is thousands of new words per year.
Anki is meant to complement your other language learning strategies, so even if it’s already part of your routine you shouldn’ just concentrate on Anki. Learn to combine it with conversation, reading, videos, traveling, and other Spanish apps.
Best Spanish Flashcards for Anki
I strongly recommend creating your own decks of flashcards to start exploring the app. If you create your own, you’re exercising your capacity of memorizing and retaining this information.
If you don’t know where to start, I’ve selected this collection of vocabulary lessons for you to create your Spanish flashcards for beginners with Anki.
- The Ultimate Vocabulary Guide to Furniture in Spanish.
- The Spanish Supermarket: 100+ Vocab Words
- A Massive List of Adjectives in Spanish for Beginners
- A Vocabulary Guide to Personality Words in Spanish
- Art and Painting Vocabulary in Spanish
- Share Your Daily Routine in Spanish: A Vocabulary Guide
- The Ultimate List of Spanish Greetings and Farewells for Beginners
- 200+ Names of Animals in Spanish
If you feel ready to take it up a notch you can use this list of Advanced Spanish Vocabulary.
Use Your Anki Flashcards For Spanish Class
Flashcards are undeniably a Spanish learning strategy that works. Trying it through a modern and successful tool like Anki will keep you motivated and engaged.
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